In the United States, the Fourth of July is a national holiday. It commemorates the date on which the Continental Congress adopted Mr. Jefferson’s draft of a declaration of independence from England. On that date, arguably more than any other, the 13 English colonies ceased to be colonies. And yet the new nation owed an enormous debt to the motherland. Its language, culture, education models, business enterprises, and widespread Christian faith had been planted in the New World by the English.
The New Testament talks a lot about our freedom in Christ. Indeed we are free—free from the curse and condemnation of our sin, free from its lingering guilt, free from Satan’s hammerlock on our souls, free from the fear of death and hell, free to follow Christ. But paradoxically we are not independent beings.
We are still totally dependent on our Creator, Savior, and Sanctifier: “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), said St. Paul to the curious and learned Greeks on Mars Hill in Athens. Jesus told his disciples only hours before he died that he was like a vine and they the branches. Cut off from him, they would be dead and dry branches, fit only for firewood. Our physical universe, our divine salvation, and our eternal destiny are still completely in God’s hands.
May I suggest to you today, as you think and talk about freedom and independence, that you give a little thought to how dependent we are on our God?